The economy and housing market are linked in such a way that one can’t do very well without the other. That’s why even though a large majority of Americans continue to express a desire to own their own home, residential real estate has experienced a gradual, up-and-down recovery since the financial crisis and housing crash. Without sustained growth and a healthy economy, the housing market’s rebound has been volatile and consumers who would otherwise be interested in buying have held off. But recent economic improvement – and the expectation of further gains in 2015 – is good news for the housing market and prospective home buyers and sellers. Already this year, the economy’s momentum has pushed Gallup’s Economic Confidence Index into positive territory for the first time since 2008. The index, which measures Americans’ views of current economic conditions and their perceptions of whether the economy is getting better or worse, scores responses on a scale with a maximum of +100 and a minimum of -100. After falling as low as -65 in the years following the financial crisis, the index reached positive territory in the final week of 2014 and has remained slightly above zero according to the most recent reading. More here.